The Best Chewy No Bake Granola Bars


I’m human, I make mistakes. And no matter how many people edit a book, something is going to slip by. The Chewy No Bake Granola Bars recipe in Go Dairy Free is a classic that we’ve loved for years. But I just realized that there was an error in the book ingredients. One that I’m correcting today!

The Best Chewy No Bake Granola Bars Recipe - naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan with nut-free option

Eat Dairy Free - Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and SweetsWe’re a small household, so I usually do half batches when testing. For the final recipe, I properly doubled everything, except for the sweetener. That sticky goodness is needed for cohesiveness! Without enough of it, the bars still taste great, but they crumble like mad.

The recipe will be fixed in future printings. But for those of you who have a copy from the first printing, my humble apologies. And here is the corrected recipe for all to enjoy!

The Best Chewy No Bake Granola Bars Recipe - naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan with nut-free option

Special Diet Notes: Chewy No Bake Granola Bars

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, optionally nut-free, optionally peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.

5.0 from 8 reviews
The Best Chewy No Bake Granola Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe has been adapted from my book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook. I like my granola bars thick, so these are generously sized. You can press them into a larger pan for thinner, more traditionally-sized bars, if desired. Please note that the Prep time doesn't include chilling.
Serves: 20 bars
  • 3 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 2¼ cups quick oats (certified gluten free, if needed)
  • ½ cup sliced almonds (see Nut-Free Option below)
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup agave nectar or honey
  • ¼ to ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar (can sub coconut sugar for less sweet; see Sweetener Note below)
  • 1 cup creamy almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt (can reduce to ¼ teaspoon if using salty nut butter)
  • ⅔ cup dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips (mini chips if available; optional)
  1. Grease a 9 × 13-inch baking dish. (See note in intro above.)
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the rice cereal, oats, almonds, and coconut.
  3. Put the liquid sweetener and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and then immediately remove the saucepan from the heat. Whisk in the nut butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth.
  4. Pour the hot, gooey mixture into the cereal mix and stir until well combined. Let cool for 2 minutes. Stir in the chocolate chips, if using.
  5. Press the mixture very firmly into your prepared baking dish with a piece of plastic wrap, parchment paper, or wax paper to avoid sticking.
  6. Place the bars in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  7. Cut the mixture into fourths horizontally, and then fifths vertically to create long bars.
  8. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in plastic freezer bags in the freezer to enjoy later.
Nut-Free Option: Substitute ½ cup more oats, shredded coconut, seeds, or chopped dried fruit for the almonds and use sunflower seed butter in place of the nut butter.

Sweetener Note: The full amount of brown sugar yields the stickiest, most cohesive results. But you can safely reduce that sweetener to ¼ cup for bars that are still pretty cohesive. If using coconut sugar, make sure it fully dissolves in the liquid sweetener. It will cause the bars to be a little less cohesive.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bar Calories: 186 Fat: 7g Carbohydrates: 29.5g Sugar: 18.2g Sodium: 100mg Fiber: 2.2g Protein: 2.6g

Key Pantry Supplies: Chewy No Bake Granola Bars

Bonus: “Nutella” Granola Bars & Other Options

In one “treat” batch for neighbors I swapped chopped hazelnuts for the slice almonds and topped the bars with dairy-free chocolate hazelnut spread (I used the dairy-free version of Nocciolata – it’s delicious!). They loved them! Those bars are pictured below. For an even nuttier finish, you can also swap chopped hazelnuts for the shredded coconut.

For more of a breakfast or hefty snack, I sometimes top these chewy no bake granola bars with peanut butter or nut butter. Because everything is better when “frosted.” If my nut butter is runny, I serve it on the side for dipping!

The Best Chewy No Bake Granola Bars Recipe - naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan with nut-free option

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. This is one of my greatest fears! As much as we edit (and it’s almost never ending), we’re human, and errors happen. I’m sure your readers will understand, and I’m also sure that the crumbly granola is delicious.

  2. Did it work with the recipe in the book or were they not sticky enough? A lot of times I like to half the sweetener in recipes because they are just too sweet, so this may be perfect 😀

    • They taste great, but are VERY crumbly! I put in a tested option to reduce the granulated sweetener which does work. You might be able to safely eliminate the granulated sweetener, but I wouldn’t personally reduce the liquid sweetener. They will get more crumbly with each reduction in liquid sweetener (even if you increase the nut/seed butter). That said, this makes a big batch (you can actually make them thinner, too – I make them really thick), so it isn’t as high sugar as you might think per serving. Since you do find many granola bar recipes too sweet though, I would definitely use the lower amount of the granulated sweetener, and possibly try cutting it out.

  3. Oh, my gosh. I used to love granola bars! They were my breakfast for years and years. I love the idea of making them from scratch, especially with that vegan nutella on top.

  4. My kids just love when I make bars like this for them but you’re right, that sticky sweetener is the key to holding it all together. Glad you caught that, but I’m sure it would have been delicious either way.

    • Honestly, they are delicious both ways! I kept making them over and over from the book recipe trying to figure out why they were crumbly because they tasted so darn good! Finally thought to go back many steps and looked at my original notes to find the problem.

  5. These sound so good and look just like those store-bought granola bars we used to get in our lunches! I wouldn’t worry about the mistake – it happens! Can’t wait to make these, obvisouly going to cover them in chocolate like you did at the end there.

  6. These remind me of the rice crispy treats I made with my grandma when I was little, but of course, much healthier! I love the “nutella” option!

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